How to Paint Leaves in Acrylics

Leaves are an important part of painting flowers, so this little post and video on how to paint leaves will help you get the basics down on how to paint many types.

How to paint leaves in acrylics, one stroke at a time. This is just a few basic leaves to get started with, there are many more and I will update this post and/or create another for more types of leaves.

How to Paint Leaves in Acrylics, an easy, beginner painting tutorial to paint leaves in acrylics one stroke at a time. #canvasart #diydecor #crafts #painting #paintparty #art

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Note: the first video in this post is a quick overview, a full length, real time video with narration is at the end of this post.

I don’t try to make them absolutely realistic but more of an indication of what a particular plants leaves look like.

Many of my flower painting tutorials have the leaf tutorial with them.
Here are a few examples:
How to Paint Geraniums
How to Paint Iris
How to Paint a Pretty Poppy

Get Started painting leaves

Start with your brush.  In this tutorial I am using a #12 flat brush but you would use the size you need to create the size leaf you wish.
A good set of brushes to get started with are the One Stroke set.

How to paint a Scallop Stroke Leaf

Double load your brush with a dark green and a lighter green.

Make a v by tapping your chisel edge of the brush on your practice piece.
To begin your stroke place the chisel edge on one half of the V then press down on your brush, wiggle as you drag the brush along to create a half heart shape.

How to Paint Leaves

Let your brush lift to a point as you reach the tip.

Now start on the other half of the V and do the same thing, try and make the tips meet so you do not have two leaf tips.
I frequently get two tips and just go over that bit to correct.

How to Paint Leaves

Don’t flip the brush, but you probably should reload with paint.

Keep the dark side of the brush next to the light when beginning the next stroke.

Do it the same way you did the first stroke and let your brush spring back to a chisel edge.

And there you have a leaf.

How to paint leaves

Paint Slider Leaf or Petal Stroke leaf

On to the slider leaf.

With the chisel edge of your brush draw a stem.
This is merely for placement, you can draw it in later if you wish.

Press your brush onto the surface at an angle from the step, not straight down.

How to Paint Leaves

We are trying to avoid a broad flat base to the leaf. In the video I show it better.

You can also use a filbert brush, you will get a more rounded base of the leaf.

Touch, press and lift to a point by turn the brush as you stroke.
I use this one a lot for small filler leaves.

How to Paint Leaves

How to paint Long Leaves

To make a longer leaf, just drag the paint brush out further.

The video includes more leaves including some shadow leaves which work well for in the background.

How to Paint Leaves

Below is an older leaf painting video
How to Paint a Scallop Leaf
and that is pretty much it.

Want free painting patterns and the latest painting lessons as they are added?

More leaf painting lessons:
How to Paint Pumpkin Leaves
Paint Fall Oak Leaves
How to Paint Fall Leaves

You may also enjoy:
How to Paint Fall Leaves
How to Paint a Nest
How to Paint a Simple Beach Scene

Happy Painting.

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How to Paint leaves, one easy stroke at a time.

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  1. Hello! This is fabulous! I’ve learned so many things within a leaf. Leather’s my medium and there are times when I want to paint in foliage backgrounds compared to tooling.
    Thank you for sharing this!!
    Larry of acrossleather

  2. Good day
    Thank you…
    My mom is 90years young,I’m following you,and then teaching my mom. She is so exited and willing to learn
    Will keep you posted
    Thnx again

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